The Staple Singers were an American gospel and soul vocal group.
The Staple Singers moved from label to label frequently throughout their career, and their first significant move was from Vee-Jay to Riverside in 1962 (or possibly '60 or '61). Riverside was a label specialising in jazz and folk music, and so through them the Staple Singers earned more recognition with the burgeoning folk scene, effectively giving them a new white audience. It was during these years that they moved out of the gospel circuit. They were still singing the same old gospel songs in the same distinctive style, but were also starting to include protest songs in their repertoire, being probably the first black artists to record Bob Dylan songs. They even made a TV appearance on Hootenanny alongside various popular folk acts.
This compilation brings together thirty-three songs from their time with Riverside. It sticks pretty much to the same stylistic template of The Vee-Jay Years recordings, though the sound quality is noticeably cleaner. Several songs demonstrate their allegience with the folk movement well - as well as their usual gospel tunes, there are versions of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land", Leadbelly's "Cotton Fields" and Dylan's "Blowing In The Wind" and "Masters Of War" (the latter being particularly haunting and powerful).
Again, the years 1962-1964 might not be quite accurate, as detailed information about their early years is scarce and conflicting. Also of note is the fact that Pervis Staples spent time in the army during the early 60s, and was temporarily replaced by younger sister Yvonne, who would replace him full-time years later.
Uncloudy Day: The Vee-Jay Years (1955-1962) <|> Freedom Highway: The Epic Years (1965-1968)
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